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Area Codes -- The international area code in Honduras is 504. All local phone numbers are eight digits, including the area code. Numbers either start with a 2 (landline) or a 9 (cellular).

Business Hours -- Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and on Saturday from 9am to noon. General business hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, although most restaurants and shops stay open to at least 8pm and are open Monday through Sunday.

Doctors -- Many doctors in Honduras, especially in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, speak basic English; for a list of English-speaking doctors, call your embassy.

Drinking Laws -- Possession and use of drugs and narcotics are subject to heavy fines and jail terms. The legal drinking age in Honduras is 21. Alcohol is sold every day of the year, except during elections, and can be bought from almost any grocery store or bodega. Proof of age is sometimes required at bars and nightclubs, so it's always a good idea to bring ID when you go out.

Electricity -- Most electrical outlets in Honduras are wired as in the U.S., with 110 volts, 60 cycles, although there is some 220-volt electricity, as well.

Embassies & Consulates -- The U.S. Embassy is in Tegucigalpa, at Avenida La Paz (tel. 504/2236-9320; http://honduras.usembassy.gov).

The Canadian Embassy in Tegucigalpa is at Edificio Finaciero Banexpo Local #3, Col Payaqui, Blvd. San Juan Bosco (tel. 504/2232-4551; www.embassyhonduras.ca).

The British Consulate can be found in Tegucigalpa at Colonia Reforms 2402 (tel. 504/2237-6577; reforma@cascomark.com).

There are no Australian or New Zealand embassies or consulates in Honduras.

Emergencies -- For a police emergency, call tel. 199. For fire, call tel. 198. To call an ambulance, dial tel. 195.

Insurance -- The cost of travel insurance varies widely, depending on the cost and length of your trip, your age and health, and the type of trip you're taking, but expect to pay between 5% and 8% of the vacation itself. You can get estimates from various providers through InsureMyTrip.com. Enter your trip cost and dates, your age, and other information for prices from more than a dozen companies.

For information on traveler's insurance, trip cancelation insurance, and medical insurance while traveling, please visit www.frommers.com/planning.

Language -- Spanish is the main language in Honduras, but most people on the Bay Islands speak English. The Native languages of Lenca, Miskito, and Garífuna are also spoken in some regions.

Legal Aid -- If you need legal help, your best bet is to first contact your local embassy or consulate.

Mail -- At the time of writing, it costs L80/L120 to mail a postcard/letter to the United States, and L120/L180 to Europe. You can get stamps at a post office and at some gift shops in large hotels. The Honduran postal service is renowned for being considerably more reliable than in other Central American nations, though if you are sending anything of value, it is still recommended to use an international courier service or wait until you get home to post it. DHL, EMS Courier, and FedEx have offices in major cities around the country, such as San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Refer to the "Fast Facts" listings of any major city. Note: Despite what you may be told, packages sent overnight to U.S. addresses tend to take 3 to 4 days.

If you're sending mail to Honduras, it generally takes between 10 and 14 days to reach Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula, although it can take as much as a month to get to the more remote corners of the country. Plan ahead. Also note that many hotels and eco-lodges have mailing addresses in the United States. Always use these addresses when writing from North America or Europe.

Newspapers & Magazines -- The weekly Honduras This Week is the major English-language newspaper in the country and can be found in most major tourist areas, though at last visit, the paper was not being published.

The Bay Islands have two monthly English-language magazines, the Bay Islands Voice and Utila East Wind.

There are five main daily Spanish newspapers -- all owned by politicians and leaning one way or the other. These include El Heraldo, La Prensa, La Tribuna, El Tiempo, and El Nuevo Día.

Packing -- Except for a few mountainous areas, weather in Honduras tends to be uniformly hot and sticky with some rain, so you will need to pack accordingly. Think lightweight and fast-drying shirts and shorts, or pants and a light rain jacket. Apart from a few top restaurants, discos, and churches, a dress code in Honduras is pretty much non-existent. When required, it usually just means no shorts and no tennis shoes. Nights in the mountains can get somewhat brisk, so it's probably a good idea to bring a light sweater and pants along, though that's not to say that anyone has ever gotten frostbite here. Considering jungle covers much of the country, long shirts and pants are a good idea to keep insects away from your skin, though again, lightweight is recommended. For more helpful information on packing for your trip, download our convenient Travel Tools app for your mobile device. Go to www.frommers.com/go/mobile and click on the Travel Tools icon.

Police -- Honduras's police force can be a hit or miss for travelers. In places such as Tela, Copán Ruínas, San Pedro Sula, and a few other destinations, tourist police have been established to protect travelers and assist them if an issue arises. If you've been robbed, your insurance company will most likely ask for a police report, called a constancia, which you can get at any police station. It is rare that police officers in Honduras will speak English.

In other parts of the country, the police are generally helpful; however, when you are in a car they tend to be more corrupt. Road stops are common throughout the country and generally police will ask for your vehicle's registration and let you go on your way. Some officers will go to great lengths to find some minor reason to ticket you. This goes double for gringos. Usually, they want a small bribe. Don't pay it. Say you don't speak Spanish. They will give up. If you are pulled over for a driving infraction, most officers will give you the option of a bribe, as well. Just deny all and threaten to call your embassy. They'll usually back off.

Smoking -- In early 2011, a new smoking law went into effect banning smoking from many public and private places, though at press time, there were still questions regarding how the law would be enforced.

Time -- Honduras is on Standard Time year-round and is in the Central Time Zone. It is 6 hours behind GMT.

Tipping -- Diners should leave a 10% to 15% tip in restaurants, although some high-end restaurants automatically include gratuity. In hotels, tipping is left to the guest's discretion. There's no need to tip taxi drivers. For help with tip calculations, currency conversions, and more, download our convenient Travel Tools app for your mobile device. Go to www.frommers.com/go/mobile and click on the Travel Tools icon.

Toilets -- You won't find public toilets or "restrooms" on the streets in most Honduran cities, but they can be found in hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants, museums, and bus stations. Large hotels and fast food restaurants are often the best bet for clean facilities. Restaurants and bars in resorts or heavily visited areas may reserve their restrooms for patrons. Most toilets in the country are the western kind with a typical flush handle. There is one big difference though: toilet paper isn't flushed. It goes in a small trashcan beside the toilet. In extremely rural areas, a simple latrine is standard. Usually, there will be a bucket of water nearby that you use to rinse everything down.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.